Hiking to Sapitwa from Likhubula (Mount Mulanje)
About Sapitwa Peak, the highest mountain in Malawi
Hiking Difficulty Scale:
Estimated Hiking Time: 3days / 2nights (About 31km round trip)
Best Season to Hike: May – Early September (Cool and dry)
Sapitwa is the highest mountain in the Mulanje range at 3,002m.
This is a 3 day/2 night hike from Likhubula over Chambe Basin and is the most popular route to Sapitwa.
Due to its central location in the mountain range, the summit offers spectacular panoramic views.
A minimum of 3 days and 2 nights is required to reach the Sapitwa Peak.
It is a long hike, covering about 31 km in three days, so it is advisable to wear suitable trekking shoes and to buy walking sticks at the entrance to Likhubula.
Depending on the season, it can be quite hot during the day but freezing cold at night.
Bring warm, suitable hiking clothes.
You will need to prepare your own food.
You can buy some fruits and vegetables in Mulanje town, but it is recommended that you buy seasonings, coffee, tea, bread and pasta in Blantyre before you arrive in Mulanje.
Water is available and safe to drink at all the water sources and huts throughout the mountain.
On the first day you will climb from Likhubula to Chisepo Hut at the foot of Sapitwa Peak, via waterfalls and pools.
The route is relatively easy and scenic, rather than steep and strenuous.
This is a long hike of 6-7 hours in total, but it gives you plenty of time to prepare for summiting the next day.
Day 2 is a round trip to Sapitwa (5-6 hours) and a trek to Chambe Hut (2-3 hours).
The weather in the mountains can be changeable, but the mornings are often relatively clear, so summiting in the morning will give you the best chance of a spectacular view from the top.
Sapitwa is a strenuous hike with some decent rock climbs and steep hills, but it is not impossible for a fit adult.
It can be slippery and dangerous at times.
Please follow your guide’s advice.
On the last day you will return from Chambe Hut to Likhubula, a 4-5 hour walk. The legs are tired and sore from the previous days, but the views across the valley are fantastic.
Route to the Summit
Day1: From Likhubula to Chisepo Hut
1. Gate at Likhubula
2. CCAP Likhubula House which you can stay and park your car.
3. The hiking begins. Likhubula falls is about 1.5 hours away.
4. Arrive at Likhubula Falls. Enjoy the cold water of the pool.
5. Proceed to Chapaluka Pool. It’s about an hour’s walk from the falls.
6. A walk through very beautiful landscapes.
7. Arrive at Chapaluka Pool.
8. Have lunch and take a little break.
9. A walk through the majestic plateau.
10. As you approach Chisepo Hut, the climb is a bit steep.
11. Arrive at Chisepo Hut with Sapitwa in the background.
Inside the Chisepo Hut
There is no electricity and the mobile signal is very weak at the Hut. Hot water for the showers is provided by helpers in a bucket.
Day2: Chisepo Hut – Sapitwa – Chambe Hut
12. It takes about 2 hours and half to reach the top of Sapitwa.
13. A long and steep ascent, the most difficult point on the way to the summit of Sapitwa.
14. After a long gradient, the Sapitwa comes into view.
15. You see rocks that look like rabbit ears.
16. At the end of this big rock is the summit.
17. Goal!!!!! This is the highest point in Malawi!
View from the Summit
18. Turn back the way you came and head for Chambe Hut. The return journey to Chisepo Hut also takes 2.5 hours and the journey from Chisepo Hut to Chambe Hut takes another 2-3 hours.
19. Arrive at Chambe Hut.
Inside the Chambe Hut
There is no electricity and no signal. Hot water for the showers is provided by helpers in a bucket.
Sunset from Chambe Hut
Day3: Chambe Hut to Likhubula
20. Depart from Chambe Hut to Likhubula, a 4-5 hour walk. The legs are tired and sore from the previous days, but the views across the valley are fantastic.
21. Passing several rivers and waterfalls.
22. Arrive at Likhubula!